PBR's very own guide on buying a new barrel!
OK guys, I stuck this outside the ultimate sticky so that it's easier to find. Please use this. This morning I came on and there were 3 questions asking what barrel to get for your gun. That's why Teuf made this thread. Use it.
As most people will tell you, the first thing you should upgrade on your paintball marker is the barrel. Since you aren't sure which one to get, you came here and were intelligent enough to read the sticky.
So the first thing you have to do is identify a price range. From here on out, I'll assume we're talking about new barrels because the prices on used barrels varies pretty drastically. Generally speaking, there's three main barrel classes. There's low end, high end, and multi-bore. Low end barrels are from $0 to $55 and high end barrels are anything above $55. Multi-bore barrels (aka barrel kits) start around $100.
Secondly, you need to decide what type of barrel best suits your marker, a single bore or a kit. Normally, a barrel kit would be a waste for an open bolt marker, as paint-barrel match isn't as big of a deal as people make it out to be. It affects performance, but not terribly. However, for a closed bolt marker (Autococker, Pre-2k3 Shocker, Excalibur, Blazer, etc.), a barrel kit is a great choice. The reasoning behind this is the ball detent in an closed bolt marker serves only to prevent double feeds, not prevent rollout. Therefore, matching the paint to the barrel is critical in keeping the paint from rolling down your barrel and out without you firing the marker.
If you've decided on a single bore barrel, your next choice is bore size. Many single bore barrels are offered in mutliple bore sizes, however, a bunch are not. Typically, you'll want to get a large bore size (.691ish) unless you're going to be using the same paint all the time. If this is the case, match your paint to bore size you'll be purchasing. If you plan on using different paint, a large bore size is best, as it will fit most paint you can find, so you won't be breaking a lot of paint in the barrel, which is always a good thing.
So you've decided you want a bang for your buck item, so it's into the low end barrel range. That title can be a bit misleading; low end by no means equates to low performance. Low end barrels will perform a bit worse than their high end counterparts, but you can save a bunch of money to put towards paint or other upgrades. The major players in this category at the time of writing are, in no specific order, the Smart Parts Teardrop, Smart Parts Progressive, J&J Ceramic, Custom Products 1 Piece, Dye Xcel, and the Lapco Bigshot. On the same marker, these barrels will all shoot more or less the same- no one barrel will consistently perform better or worse than any other. Therefore, deciding which to buy comes down to price, looks, sound, "features," and brand loyalty.
--The Progressive and the Teardrop are, in essesence, the same barrel. The only difference is the Teardrop has different porting in a higher quantity, so it tends to be a bit quieter than other barrels. Of note is the large amount of porting will often lead to decreased efficiency. Both come in a variety of colors.
--The J&J Ceramic has a slick inner surface, supposed to make it easier to shoot through a break.
--The CP 1 Piece is the most customizable in this group, based on bore size, color, finish, length, etc. CP is also known to have great customer support.
--The Dye Xcel is a very large bore barrel, and like most other Dye products, performs well.
--The Lapco Bigshot has very little porting, and it's all at the end of the barrel, so it's rather loud compared to the others, but this also positively affects efficiency.
Last edited by Kowz_76 : 05-25-2005 at 08:04 AM.